NHL Rumor Mill – June 11, 2014

Updates on Joe Thornton, Mike Richards, Jason Spezza, Matt Niskanen, Kimmo Timonen and many more. 

Will Joe Thornton waive his no-movement clause?

Will Joe Thornton waive his no-movement clause?

SAN JOSE MERCURY-NEWS: David Pollak reports agent John Thornton, who represents his brother  Joe Thornton, said his client would consider waiving his no-movement clause if he felt Sharks fans didn’t want him back. John insists his brother is perfectly happy in San Jose and wants to stay and help them win a Stanley Cup.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unless there’s a massive “Dump Joe” campaign from Sharks fans, it doesn’t sound as though he’ll accept a trade. 

TORONTO SUN: Mike Zeisberger reports Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis he’d considered adding a skilled veteran who could help his team but a deal has to make sense and he doesn’t want to trade away his future. Word around the league is Nazem Kadri or Jake Gardiner might be available for the right offer. Zeisberger also reports Nonis confirmed he’ll willing to trade up in the first round of this year’s draft. The Leafs currently hold the eighth-overall pick.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nonis won’t tip his hand as to which players he has interest in or how far up in the draft he hopes to move. Still, I expect he’ll make at least one significant move by the opening round of the NHL Draft. Who gets moved or what the return will be is anyone’s guess, which should ensure the Leafs remain a fixture in the trade rumor mill over the next couple of weeks. 

DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Mike Heika believes the Stars will land a second-line center this summer. Trade targets could include Jason Spezza and Joe Thornton, while Brad Richards or Mike Richards could become free agents if they’re bought out before July 1. He also speculates the Stars might have interest in Canucks center Ryan Kesler, but given the ire between the owners of both clubs, he wonders if landing him would be a realistic option.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stars GM Jim Nill last summer showed his willingness to make bold moves by acquiring Tyler Seguin from Boston. Spezza could be on his radar if the Senators captain is willing to accept a trade to Dallas. 

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Gary Lawless believes Mike Richards could be a good fit with the Jets if he’s bought out by the LA Kings.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If they want to kick the tires on an affordable, short-term deal, perhaps Richards would be a good fit. Still, the decline in his performance this season has to be cause for concern, which could hamper his free agent value if he is bought out by the Kings. 

TRIBLIVE.COM: Josh Yohe reports the status of Penguins pending UFA Matt Niskanen remains uncertain following the club’s recent management changes.

CSNPHILLY.COM: Sarah Baicker reports it remains uncertain if defenseman Kimmo Timonen returns with the Flyers next season. If he does, Baicker believes the Flyers still need to add a top-two defenseman. She suggests Pittsburgh’s Matt Niskanen might be a good choice via free agency, but it would be difficult for the cap-strapped Flyers to sign him. Given the lack of depth in this summer’s free agent market, Niskanen could also be difficult to sign.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Flyers hope to bolster their defense I expect it’ll be via trade rather than free agency. 

TORONTO STAR: Damien Cox reports Florida Panthers GM Dave Tallon said he’s received one “fair offer” so far for the first overall pick in this year’s draft.

STLTODAY.COM: Jeff Gordon reports Penguins winger James Neal could end up on the trade block…He wonders if the Penguins might sign Martin Brodeur to shore up its goaltending…Kris Letang’s expensive new contract (eight years, $58 million) with its limited no-trade clause could be tough to move once it goes into effect on July 1…No one would be surprised to see the Maple Leafs make an offer for San Jose’s Joe Thornton…The Blackhawks’ Nick Leddy could be an attractive trade target if they need to shed salary to re-sign Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews…The Anaheim Ducks could pursue Vancouver’s Ryan Kesler…The Senators want a top prospect, a player and a first-round pick for Jason Spezza, he could be a good fit for clubs like the Blues and Ducks seeking a second-line center. Ditto the Rangers’ Brad Richards if he’s bought out following the playoffs…Sabres winger Chris Stewart acknowledges the possibility he could be dealt this summer…The Bruins could move winger Brad Marchand to free up cap space to re-sign Jarome Iginla.


  1. I like Thornton’s dedication to San Jose. This is more of what’s needed in the NHL. “Go down with the ship”. It’s too bad other captains didn’t have that mentality (*ahem Zach Parise ahem*). Too many players are “when the going gets tough, jump ship”, or in Parise’s case, when your team makes the finals, go to a team that doesn’t make the playoffs so that we can turn them into first-round fodder.

    Why the hell would the Bruins move Marchand? He’s one of the reasons they’re so hard to play against. If their management doesn’t maintain the character of their locker room, they’re going to start falling off and fast.

    I have a feeling that the team that makes sense to pick up Spezza or Kesler won’t be the team that trades for them. It was the same thing that happened with Rick Nash.

    • I don’t get how Parise went down with the ship. In his last year there, they made the cup finals. And how did San Jose go down the tubes? Even though they blew a 3-0 series lead, at least they make the payoffs every season

      • I meant to say i don’t get why Parise should went down the ship with the Devils

    • Going down with the ship = stick around with the team, win or lose…

  2. Thornton’s problem is he couldn’t lead himself out of a paper bag, let alone a whole team. San Jose doesnt need to get rid of him, its the coach. Clearly he lacked the leadership to guide that team full of all stars and point producers to a fnal. why they are keeping him is beyond me.

    Marchand’s name keeps coming up because people see a need for the Bruins to make Cap room and Marchand is: a quality point producer, affordable, and young. I don’t see them trading him. But you never know what teams may offer when there is a player they want. If a team is jonesing for Marchy maybe something happens.

    • If the first series was a best of 5, the playoffs would be completely different right now.

      SJ have a good regular season team, but aren’t brutish enough to survive 7 game series’. They have a team that wins a playoff game, but not a playoff series. The two are entirely different. They need to get more bullheaded “heart” players on their squad. See Boston and LA’s formula. A bunch of gritty Canadian/American forwards speckled with a couple of European skill guys (Krejci, Kopitar), and a solid d-corps and world class goaltending… although Boston’s not won a cup with Rask.

    • Why would Thornton want to go anywhere? He lives in paradise, out of the publics eye. He has played for the sharks for a long time. This is his home now, and the sharks are a great regular season team that has the talent to win. Joe lives the sweet life, which is probably more important than slightly improving his chances of winning a cup, as I am sure it would be for the majority of players in the NHL if they found themselves in Joes situation.

    • I can see the Bruins moving Marchand. He can be amazing at times. He hasn’t been the same since Seguin got traded and he takes stupid penalties I can see teams wanting him.

      • I can see teams wanting him though*

  3. I find it hilarious that everyone who “thinks” they know anything at all about hockey says that Richards is no good and should be bought out by the Kings, then in their next sentence says that their team should sign him.

    RICHARDS WON’T BE BOUGHT OUT! Why would a Stanley cup winning team buy out one of their leaders? Trade him, maybe. Buy him out, hell no!

    • Im starting to agree with ya King some one will get burned by Lombardi trading way too much for Richards.

    • probably because his play has declined and the pundits are looking at the Kings need/want to resign Gaborik, who has been the deadline deal of the decade. The Kings probably have a few others to sign too, so it would make sense to think about unloading a higher salary with declining returns. But yes I agree, it is difficult imagining letting a character guy go like that.

      • I believe Richards is playing on the 4th line – a role he has accepted and not complained about. Thing is for 4th line his salary is too high especially if the Kings plan on resigning Gaborik, Mitchell and Greene as well as extending contracts for Clifford, Pearson and Toffoli. Currently they have $13 M to work with.

        Not sure if Bflo would want to pick up that high a salary, but he would be the type of character guy that would be a good leader mentor for our youngsters. Bflo could offer a 3rd rounder for him and take on the salary or take the chance of him being bought out and then talk to him.

      • I think they can still re-sign Gaborik if he’s willing to play for reasonable money. If he wants $7M+, he’ll have to find that elsewhere.

    • Much like the Brad Richards situation, people are not questioning his ability or leadership. People are questioning his contract. Which in both cases are VERY questionable. In both cases (in a trade scenario) Gm’s will have to take a hard look at their contracts and where these guys will be in 3-4-5 years from today. Not where they are today. I think both have decent trade value, but their contracts make things a little more tricky when talking about a trade. And considering this is the last year of amnesty buyouts, both are vulnerable to the possibility of buyouts. As I said with B. Richards a few weeks ago, he could have gone on to win the Conn Smythe and it made little to no argument of a buyout in the last chance to do it.

      • Who would the Kings rather have now. Gaborik? Or Richards? No question there

      • I have not been impressed with Brad Richards, especially during the playoffs as his skills really look like they have declined – he’s late to the play, floating around and just doesn’t seem involved. I would play somone else in the lineup.

        • The problem with sitting Richards….? Who replaces him? NY is pretty thin as far as younger replacements go, and I can’t see breaking up Brassards line to slide him in Richards spot.

    • Kings should seriously consider it. In a few years this team will have cap problems of they dont.. If not him then someone else.

      They seem ok for next year…3 F & 2 D spaces to fill with $12 M of space. Resign Gaborik+King+ Greene/UFA Dman for $8M total combined then add 2 ELC roster fills. that puts them $1M under a projected $70M cap.

      in 15/16 they have Williams, Stoll, Regehr coming off the roster earning about $10M combined. They have to resign Martinez, Muzzin, Toffolii and Pearson likely combined will cost $10M at least. On top of those 4 they have to resign Noaln, Clifford, and Jones. Looks like La will not have the room to keep these players.

      In 2016 Kopitar is up for UFA.

      If you want to reign Williams that even pushes the need to CBO Richards (this summer the last CBO chance)

  4. So what’s the hurry ?
    Is it just me or is the media creating a frenzy with all this trade talk ? They seem to make Anaheim / SJ /
    St Louis and others appear in a desperate hurry to acquire that “ONE” who will win them the cup.
    What’s the hurry ? Look at the west, Kings won the cup as a 8th seed a couple of years ago and will win it again as a 3rd place team in the Pacific. They made their key trades at the trade deadline in both years after they had most of the season(s) to evaluate their needs. Going for first place in this day in age gets you zip and having home ice advantage in the playoffs means very, very little. Look at the west, with current rosters 7 teams are ALMOST a lock to get into the playoffs ( I said almost), Kings, Ducks, Sharks,
    Hawks, Blues, Avs, Wild. That’s leaves one spot open for all the others, they should be the ones wheeling and dealing. The top teams should stand back, and if they make a deal, don’t over pay and don’t panic, they have PLENTY of time to make team evaluations for NEXT YEARS PLAYOFFS.

    • Very true. When’s the last time a team who won the President’s Trophy won the Cup? Perhaps Detroit, but it has been some time since that happened.

      • This indicates a problem with the current infrastructure of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

        • Nevertheless, it happened last year… 😛

    • Kings are a rare team that happened to have rentals work both times.

      This isn’t skill by management, it’s sheer dumb luck of chemistry. Most teams that rent end up crashing and burning.

      • By rent, I don’t mean trading for pending UFAs, but more trading for high quality players at the deadline. Carter was obviously not a pending UFA but the same principle applies…

        • I have to disagree, the King’s management has done an incredible job building this perennial powerhouse. Most recently, I don’t think picking up Gaborik was dumb luck, they likely targetted him specifically because they thought he would be a good fit. If they were dumb, they would have gone after Vanek. These guys know what they’re doing, and they are both lucky and good.

          • Gaborik was nothing but dumb luck. When has he ever shown this kind of performance in the playoffs? Never, as far as I can remember. He has pretty much always been a guy that shows up in bunches and disappears equally in bunches.

          • Gaborik has been lights out since the trade deadline but lets slow the bandwagon, down a touch. He has done this kind of things before, great stretches followed by invisibility.

          • The proof is in the pudding. Developing Kopitar, Quick and Doughty. Not trading Brown. Getting Justin Williams for Patrick O’Sullivan (!), then resigning him after he broke his leg. Trading for Richards at the draft and re-uniting him with Carter at the deadline. Signing Muzzin after Pitt tossed him away. Hiring Sutter as coach. And, yes, getting Gaborik at the deadline. The best management of a franchise I’ve seen since Bowman and Holland’s heyday with the Wings.

          • I dare say Chicago would have something to say about that statement. Also, the Red wings enjoyed nearly 2 decades of success under Holland, perennial playoff contenders, and always a threat to go deep until the last 2 years or so. Any comparison to Wings at this point is a little premature.

          • I agree that Chicago also has excellent management and that the Kings have not matched the length of Detroit’s incredible run of success. At the same time, the moves LA management made to build this team show rare skill. Where other teams made trade-deadline pickups that don’t turn out (too numerous to mention), the same type of deals turn into two Stanley Cup finals for the Kings. Where picking up skilled players dogged by rumours of personal issues (justified or otherwise) used to only work for the Wings, it appears to work for the Kings as well.

            I guess the thing for me that really demonstrates the skill of this management team is the dearth of mistakes. No Gomez signing (Rangers), or trade (Habs), no overpaying free agents like Richards (NY again) or Clarkson (Leafs) no losing patience and trading Steen for Stempniak (Leafs again), etc. Of course, all management teams make mistakes, but LA’s has made so few, even when taking on what appeared to be higher-risk propositions, that, to me anyway, they are the class of the league. ( Ok, along with Chicago, I won’t argue with success).

  5. Even still, get something. Find teams that are interested and take back a mid round draft pick and depth player. Explore the market be for buy outs, the buy outs are for co tracts that are just applauding on terrible players.

  6. Why would the hawks trade Leddy, the only defense man besides Kieth with the ability to skate and move the puck. I would rather have them deal Odyua than Leddy.

    • If I remember right, Oduya bounced around some before landing with the Hawks. Leddy has more return value IMO.

    • Leddy has a ton of value and they can fish quite the price for him. He’s unproven in prime roles but in secondary roles, he’s playing well. That means he might be ready for first pairing minutes on another team, which means Hawks might get something good in return.

  7. I agree the Flyers may have to deal for a D. They have no CAP space to get in a bidding war for a few agent. Brayden Schenn will be the main piece. Also don’t be surprised if Coburn is in play. All the talent in the world-but had a very poor playoffs. Considering his cap hit-the flyers need more. Could Edmonton or Toronto in play for him?

    • Not sure with the Leafs cap it makes sense, could be an idea if they could free up some space, I think the Oilers would slso be looking for a little more high end type d man than Coburn not sure he is a top pairing or at least a top 3 type dman he is more of a 4 or 5 guy imo.

      • In Edmonton he would be a #1 (which says more of the quality of D men for the Oil).

      • Seems to me that Coburn is beat up and doesn’t have that many years left.
        He is a warrior and a true character type guy. Do not see him traded now but
        could be very valuable next February when a team is looking for defense, toughness, character, and experience.

    • I STILL see them making a draft day deal for the first pick and getting Ekblad.

      • Flyers won’t get the 1st overall. Florida will keep it. Ekblad going to be a big time player in the NHL. The Panthers also need a good young defense to grow together. What better way to start then Ekblad?

      • Not sure the Flyers would part with the type of asset it would require, cant see Hextall parting with younger players that the Flyers have developed or Simmonds, and Hartnel, Vinny or Coburn aint doing it. The Schenns and the Flyers pick is an overpayment for the pick imo and cant see Florida accepting just B Schenn Cant see a deal for the 1st.

    • Flyers would need to trade a player with a high ceiling as “part” of the package to get first overall.

      I don’t see it happening. I’m looking at their roster and their prospects as Tallon and I’m shaking my head. The only guys of interest would be guys Flyers shouldn’t trade for draft picks.

  8. CONFIRMED RUMOUR!!! No Canadian team will be able to pick up a player of ANY decent value from an American team…….it just does not happen. Canadian teams are the fleecee’s …..the ones who get taken.

    • Um… did you not see the Oilers take Perron from St. Louise last year for Magnus Paajarvi? That is a Canadian team fleecing an American Team. Just thought you would like to know.

      • Scrivens (gone from LA) Fratin (gone from LA) and a second for Bernier, pretty good deal there. Id say when Nonis got Luongo from the Panthers that was a steal, how bout Spezza Chara for Yashin, how many of the players thst the Nordiques got for Lindross win a cup in Colarado when they moved Forseberg Ricci Simon…etc How many did the Flyers get with Lindross again? Teams fleece other tesms in hockey trades it happens has nothing to do with American or Canadian teams.

    • What you talking about DChump?

      • Guess we will see in couple weeks. Prove me wrong. Most those trades are old NHL with no cap room and Bettman hasn’t rooted his PRO-USA team garbage.

  9. If Dallas decided Spezza was their man, (which I doubt they would honestly but you never know) I would want a package centering around Oleksiak. I think he would develop great and be a perfect compliment to Karlsson. At 6’7, 250 with good skills, which is rare for a big guy, He could be a premier shut down Dman with some offensive upside. I could see the Stars not wanting to trade him for those exact reasons but hey it’s worth a try. Sens could put Cowen with Spezza so they’d be exchanging young giants and make the trade a little more appealing.

    • Unless we are making that deal bigger I wouldn’t do it if I were the Sens, Spezza + Cowen for Oleksiak? Yes Oleksiak has potential and is a big guy, I’d move Spezza for him as it does assist in addressing our need on defense, but now with Cowen as well. Cowen has a lot of upside and will improve next season for sure. Oleksiak has a total of 23 NHL games under his belt and is all potential at this point. He could become a Victor Hedman type guy, or maybe not.

      I could see a deal like: Jason Spezza + Eric Gryba for Jamie Oleksiak, Rights to Vernon Fiddler, and a 2 or 3rd round pick.

      • The last thing Ottawa needs is a another young D with Gryba, Weircoch, Ceci. Cowen has the same potential as Oleksiak, so you saying Fiddler and a second(or third) for Spezza. Worst trade ever.

        Maybe Oleksiak, Chaisson and a 1st this or next year. Odds are though Spezza wouldn’t want to go to Dallas. If Vanek was traded for essentially two 2nd pick prospects, then Spezza will return at least that and more for a year of hockey. Not Vernon Fiddler’s rights, Jesus.

        • Oleksiak is big, but isn’t all that physical as he should be. If he does reach that point, then he’ll be a stud.

          As a Stars fan I would love to have Spezza. If Stastny doesn’t cost a lot (although he will) then Spezza would be my next choice. I would love to have Brad Richards back though. He didn’t resign because of ownership issues, but that’s all resolved now. Plus, we won’t lose much and he wont cost as much to sign on. Seguin and Richards would be a great top 2.

          We would then be able to slide down Eakin to the 3rd line centering Garbutt and Roussel. They were great against the Ducks taking on Getzlaf/Perry’s line.

          The Stars are a few pieces away from being a serious cup contender.

          GO BENN GO!

        • it’s not so much ths spez wants out it’s murray can’t take that the sens won’t be called out in the first round of the draft he can’t stand it that they don’t have a 1st rounder. to all the other 29 teams out there buyer beware

  10. alforducks, the Flyers will need to make a trade to get a good top four Defenceman, not just because Coburn is beat up, but because Timmonen could retire. Coburns status is the least of their worries. IMO Vancouver could make a decent trade partner due to the fact that they have Hamhuis, Garrison, Edler all on deals at a
    good cap hit, and (in the case of Hamhuis and Garrison) are fairly healthy. This has been Phillys achillies
    heel the last few years with injuries to one or more D-men.such as Timmonen, Mezaros etc.

    • I think they could try and pull Keith Yandle out of Phoenix. The Yotes are desperate for a good young center … a deal revolving around Brayden Schenn could be a fit there.

      • Maybe Minnesota could pull Yandle out of Phoenix with a deal revolving around Granlund?

        • Minny’s got a good defense they won’t need Yandle IMO. There young guys are all good and Granlund is going to be a star. No point IMO.

          Yandle for the Schenn brothers seems intriguing though.

          • Im a season ticket holder and totally disagree. Prosser and Ballard have to go. Stoners play is inconsistant and Spurgeon is good but small, Yandle would be a big upgrade from any of the guys I listed.

            As far as Granlund goes, his play has certainly improved over last year and he will be a very good player sometime in the near future but he only has 49 points in 90 games. The time is now to use him as a trade piece to pick up a better top 4 forward or defensmen, like Kesler, Yandle, Kane, Wheeler, Niskanen etc.

    • Maybe Yandle and lesser player for both the Schenns…

    • Coburn status is among their worries-they have $21M tied up in 5 D next year-yet its there team weakness. His $4.5 is a moveable contract. There is no way in bringing in some of the VCR Dmen without shedding some$.

  11. Why would the Bruins trade Marchand to sign Iginla.That makes no sense trade a young guy with upside to sign a guy who has maybe a year or two left.If the Bruins dont resign Thornton and trade Mcquaid and Kelly thats like 5 mill in cap space cleared.And if they do trade Marchand there going to want a player in value back wich means taking money back.I think they give him another shot and hopefully he has learned its ok to be an aggresive annoying player but enough with the stupid penalties.He still got 25 goals 6 shorthanded and if he cleaned up his game a bit might be another 30 to 35 goal scorer .

  12. Quick question…

    Why do the Canucks owner and Stars owner have an “ire” between them? Just curious…

    • The pair of them were looking to purchase the Canucks together. There was a falling out at some point, some shenanigans ensued, and I do believe a court case over it as well.

      Aqualini was the victor in that and Gaglardi left to ponder what might have been. Once the Dallas stars came available Gaglardi realized his dream of owning an NHL team, and has done a nice job of it so far.

      Just google it, it;s easy to find

      • Thanks TJ. Really appreciate it.

  13. Dear Joe Thornton,

    Please do not leave San Jose, we love you and your beard


    A Sharks fan

  14. Kesler to the Ducks
    D-S Pelley
    10 overall from Ott.
    24 overall

    • doubt they trade kesler within the division, but if the price is right, you never know.
      I think/hope:
      to Pitts: Kesler + for Neal and Sutter
      to Phil: Kesler + for Hartnell and B.Shenn
      to Det: Kesler + for Tatar + …

      • Kesler is not worth Neal and Sutter or Hartnell and Brayden Schenn! Depends on the + in your suggested deals ! It was rumoured that it would cost a player that helps now, a good / top prospect and a pick. So Sutter, one of Doumoulin / Harrington / Depres /… and a late first rounder would make more sense.
        I wouldn’t make that trade if I was Rutherford.
        Sutter is an good 3rd line center. He needs more support from his linemates, which he won’t get from Adams, Gibbons, Vitale, Glass, Pyatt…..
        IMO guys like Pouliot, Santorelli, Downie, Ott, Kulemin, Moore or Boyle (to name a few) would make more sense.

  15. Enough with the rumour mill. Its the same names recycled over and over again the last three months. If there isn’t anything new to report, then make it up. Why not most of this stuff ain’t going to happen. The trading of Gardiner, that would be ridiculous. Quick stats note: Last 20 games of the season when the playoffs were on the line: Gardiner 5G 9A +1 Phaneuf 2G 5A -19

    • Then why do you continue reading?

    • The Leafs made the playoffs once since strike cancelled season and that was in the shortened season. They need changes after the last collapse-why wouldn’t Jake Gardiner be in play?

  16. Lebrun just reported that Spezza just asked for a trade. Gonna be a busy offseason. Last year was super boring.